ASUS' first encounter with the Killer NIC is in the form of a multifunction addon card called ASUS ThunderBolt. Multifunction addon cards aren't new to ASUS. Recently, it released U3S6, a card that integrates USB 3.0 and SATA 6 Gb/s controllers with two ports of each kind. The ThunderBolt, on the other hand, integrates Bigfoot Killer 2100 network controller and ASUS Xonar sound. So in one package, it gives gamers access to a more responsive network and clearer audio.
The ASUS ThunderBolt is a PCI-Express addon card, integrating a Killer 2100 controller with its own dedicated memory; and in probability, an ASUS AV100 audio chipset found on low-profile ASUS Xonar sound cards such as Xonar DS. It provides 7.1 channel audio out with over 100 dBA SNR, and packs software that emulates popular positional-audio technologies such as EAX, and various Dolby/DTS mojo. The card draws power from a 4-pin Molex connector. The entire card is covered by an EMI shield, which also gives it a nice "product" feel.
To begin with, ASUS will bundle the ThunderBolt with its new upcoming LGA1366 motherboard, the Rampage III Black Edition. In the near future, it may also sell the card separately.